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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  March 8, 2010 12:00pm-1:00pm EST

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>> rose: welcome to the broadcast. this evening we begin with a look ahead at sunday night's oscars. >> something tells me that the oscar voters are going to, in the end, vote for the tougher, more uncompromising picture. >> you're hiing "the hurt locker". >> you are the idealist, are you art and i'm commerce. >> thank you. >> i think that much as i love "the hurt locker" and i think it's just, you know, an achievement that will last a very long time and just a piece of filmmaking and storytelling and ensemble acting that is hard to beat, i think that in the end, you know, the academy will look at where the money is and where the audience is and at the sort of the global phenomenon that has been, you know, james cameron for the second time,
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after titanic sort of coming back and conquering the world. so i think it's tough. >> rose: and we continue with a look at the idea of google digitizing books. >> it's very clear that anti-trust law is to benefit consumers. and the alternative to this settlement is for consumers to not have access at all to these works. and clearly, having access through google who is the only company that has expended the effort, the time, the energy, the willingness to work with rights holders, to get all this done, and so i think having the settlement approved is far better for consumers. >> this is a public asset. we, line regardees have made available-- libraries have made available to google free collections that have been built up over generations at enormous cost. and now we're being asked to buy back the digitized version of those libraries
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at a fee that could be ruinously expensive. >> it's a fabulous virtual library. it's something the world has never seen. it was scary to copyright hollers at the beginning because it was in the hands of a private company that was using it for its own commercial benefit with no recognition of the rights' holders interest in how the material was displayed. under the terms of the settlement, that's all changed. >> rose: the oscars and moveees, google and books coming up. >> funding for charlie rose has been provided by the coming fol fol if you've had a coke in the last 20 years, ( screams ) you've had a hand in giving college scholarships... and support to thousands of our nation's... most promising students. ♪
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( coca-cola 5-note mnemonic ) >> from our studios in new york city this is charlie rose. >> rose: the 82nd annual academy awards will be given out in los angeles on sunday evening with 10 movies fighting for best picture. from "the hurt locker"s iraq to av atar's pandora to "up" to "up in the air" from "inglourious basterds" to "district 9", 1960s british
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society in "an education" and jewish philosophy in "a serious man" and "precious and "the blind side". joining us two film critics michael philips from the "chicago tribune" and a.o. scott from "the new york times". they are cohost of its syndicated television television program made famous bisys kel and ebert. i'm pleased to have them at this table. welcome. are there unifying themes. >> i think what is interesting to me is the two what have you merged as the two front-runners, "the hurt locker" and "avatar" which are, you know n some ways polar opposite, "avatar" being the big blockbuster that eight the world and made $2 billion and is, you know, and pioneered this use of 3-d and motion capture technology and is on really the borderline between animation and live action and is giving us something new to look at, and "the
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hurt locker", a smaller movie, much lower budget, i think. budget probably a 50th of what it cost to make "avatar", that's very toff, topical action movie. in a way they are telling somewhat similar stories about you know, the hero in each case is someone whose thrust into this hostile environment that he has to make sense of. and that challenges his sense of who he is and his ethical sense and his ability to do his job. it is also, i think, the theme of" district 9 "by tells a story eerily similar to "avatar" in a way about a, you know, a guy whose's sort of in the struggle with these alien beings that he finds himself in sympathy with. so that, i don't know, that theme of the sort of hero in hostile territory and with the ground shifting under his feet i think is something that you find. >> yeah, you've got an interesting line-up because it is the first time since
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1944 we've had a list of ten nominees, best picture, and in a funny way, in that it does come down to "avatar" and "the hurt locker" for best picture, there has been a lot of focus this year on going into this oscar season, okay, we need to get, we need to acknowledge the middle of the road populist box office performers, "the blind side" i think would not be in there, in other circumstances. certainly the $2 billion success of "avatar", you know, acknowledged here. but i almost wonder if having nominated these pictures, i wonder if the academy voters won't feel that they have done their duty and they are not going to, in the end, reward the less commercial, you know, fairly uncompromising, very tough war picture, "the hurt locker". it would be the most t is either the most successful financial picture ever, number one, best picture this year or the least within or the lowest
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grossing. >> lowest grossing. >> rose: of those nominated. >> that fascinating just in terms of the themes of the movies but of the state, let's say, of moviemaking. now is the ten picture field has allowed this enormous range in terms of pretty small movies that probably wouldn't have gotten in there like" the serious man "would, you know, do very well at the independent spirit awards in previous years but not necessarily the player in the oscars, all the way up to "avatar". so you get i think what i like about the ten picture field is that it gives a very interesting shap shot of a lot of different themes and approachs and you see the difference of scale that moviemaking can happen on. >> where we are and also where we came from. the first academy awards, 1929, they divided the field into in a best motion picture production which was won by wings which is a very commercial world war i
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romantic triangle with a lot of flying, okay, a good film of its type. also in other category, most unique and artistic production, fw murrknow sunrise which had won best picture that year. and that was really art versus commerce. and that sort of sets the tone for the academy awards through history. how much are we going to acknowledge the becomes office and how much are we going to acknowledge what can be done within the constraints and confines of the dream factory. >> so what do you think. >> this year i think it is, okay, i enjoyed both "avatar" and "the hurt locker". and i think-- . >> rose: most people did i think. >> something tells me though, something tells me that oscar voters are going to in the end vote for the tougher, more uncompromising picture. i'm thinking "the hurt locker". >> you are the idealist, you are art and i'm commerce. >> thank you.
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>> i think that, you know, much as i love the hert locker and i think it's just, you know, an achievement that will last a very long time and just a piece of filmmaking and storytelling and ensemble acting that is hard to beat, i think that in the end, you know, the academy will look at where the money is and where the audience is and at the sort of the global phenomenon that has been you know james cameron for the second time, are you talking after titanic sort of coming back and conquering the world. so i think it's tough, you know. >> i think this year, might go tony away, avatar-- "avatar", bigelow is a sure thing. only the fourth female nominated for acting-- directing oscar. >> rose: how good a movie is it? >> it may be the best in at least ten, 20 years in this country. you may have to go back to something like, you know, maybe as far back as -- --
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it doesn't really directly relate to the vietnam pictures i think, because it is of such a different scale, a. >> rose: what is it that it has that makes it a great movie. >> all right, most films, i think, that deal with anything to do with this conflict, if they choose to take some sort of line that pretends to be apolitical, it becomes absolutely indecisive. and you don't believe that the director is even really seeing through an idea. here i think you really are dealing with a profession under the most intense pressure you can imagine, that does, in fact, exist largely outside politics. yes, the politics puts these people in this position. but this is despite the lack of cooperation with the military which has been some hoo-ha about and a lot of the military folks are not keen on the film, but a lot are, a lot are. and i think this is a film that does play across the political spectrum, and i
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think hollywood and the academy respects that. >> i think too, what makes-- i agree with especially with something you just said, that it's about sort of the profession of arms. and it is very seriously about the main character played by jeremy render, about his relationship to his job. and about really his passion for, you know, you ask describe him as a thrill seeker, a danger junkie but he is much more than that, he is someone who is most alive, most present to himself, the world makes sense to him when he's in these dangerous situations. and when he is you know figuring out, he can figure out explosives and how they work. he's not at good as figuring out people or-- . >> rose: relationships. >> that is why the film earns its bones because the last 15, 20 minutes when we have the brief without spoiling too much of it, when we have the brief section where he goes back home and tries to reintegrate, you are dealing with very short, maybe five, ten minutes of footage and in those five, ten minutes the screenwriter and the director absolutely figure
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out how to leave you inside that man's head and you really feel like you know his nervous system. >> you have this interesting ensemble. you have the three main guys am you have him, the guy by anthony mackey and brian garrity all who are different characters. and very believable. the psychology of each one is different. you know, the mackey character just wants to get through, wants to survive, wants to do the job, wants to go home. played by garrity is afraid. can't really quite handle himself in this situation. and the interplay between those different ways of experiencing this danger and confusion and chaos and trying to master the situation that is completely outside of their control, finally s what makes it so visceral and so powerful. so you know, there are these amazing action set pieces that probably aren't, you know, literally corresponding to something that really happened on the ground in iraq. they are very sort of highly imagined and you know, and emphatic and dramatic.
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but they almost are kind of metaphors for what is going on there on the ground for the larger experience of the war which is trying to figure out what this situation is as it is changing, as it is putting you in danger. and assert some kind of mastery or control over it. >> i got into a discussion with a screenwriter recently who admired the film but found its lack of conventional dramatic machinery and really there is not a lot of the usual exposition or explanation gong. he found that not enough for him. so i do want -- >> he wanted more. >> he wanted more, i don't know, more conventional rooting interest, more connective tissue between these very, very intense scenes. if that's true, if there is more than one sensibility like that in hollywood than it goes "avatar" away. >> rose: speaking of things that seem to be locked, best actor. >> well, i think you had him here awhile ago. i think jeff bridges, in a very strong field, i mean this was a good year.
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you have five jeremy render as we've just been saying absolutely terrific. >> colin firth. >> you know. >> clooney in" "up in the air" >> the interesting thing, is if we were talking i think in december in early december late november, you know, write around the time that "up in the air" was opening when "crazy heart qltion was still not scheduled to be released. it was to be released around now, we would have said well george clooney all the way this is his year. i mean that movie -- >> i would not. >> but that movie came out of toronto. i wasn't in toronto. i didn't see it there. but you know i was reading this is the movie, this is-- and this is the performance and this is clooney's oscar to lose. and then all of a sudden this little movie about this broken down country singer pops up. and there's jeff bridges, a guy who has been doing extraordinary work for 40 years, go all the way back to the last picture show and the stop along the way. >> rose: it sort of what the academy likes t is a great
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performance but it is a great performance that rides in on lots of great performances in the history of an actor. >> and he is also a damag damageed-- the fact that, you know, he is playing a broken down alcoholic getting a second chance doesn't hurt either. >> i would call that character comfortably damaged which which is how a lot of the voters like it. a pretty good film but-- . >> rose: he is the guy you like too. >> and he is never going to false note in 40 years. >> rose: as you might be able to argue for johnny depp that he has chosen things that sort of appeal to him rather than as you might argue with tom cruise, a kind of career arc that is more predictable. >> jeff bridges, i think like a lot of guys like dennis cade and a few others, they have been-- they have had that expectation of leading man stardom on them for decades. and it hasn't really paid off in the way some people would have expected. >> rose: but have there been opportunities in which they were playing that kind of role and it didn't play out.
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>> part of it is timing. i think the fact that this film almost originally just got released straight to dvd. >> rose: crazy horse. >> yeah, but it is absolutely the time for him. >> but i think too, it's with that kind of actor who i think in the 7 0tionee he was almost kind of hemmed in by how good looking he was, and what, you know, what a movie star he looked like. and i think it's only as he's aged and roughened a little bit that he has sort of been freed of that burden to be the kind of matinee idol and can play these extraordinary character parts both in supporting. >> yeah, but he also had invisible technique, the technique is so effortless. >> you almost, you almost dared you to notice him because he never took the stage or hoged a scene in kind of an unseemly way. very sharp actor. >> rose: turning to actresss. >> you know, i think we're
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predicting different things here. i think-- . >> rose: i'm wait foging for an argument. >> i think my hunch is it is going to go to sandra bull okay for "the blind side" because i think it will be the academy acknowledging this monster success which has sort of not been predicting by anybody. a massive populist kind of red state hit. she's riding high, like meryl streep, she's riding high as sort of this unexpected box office force and look she gives an incredibly gracious and classy acceptance speech and i think that si factor there. >> you figure that from the golden globes. >> golden globes. >> rose: what did she say that was so great. >> well, i just, she puts a good face on you know, the industry, do you know what i mean. i don't like the film but the performance is very crafty. >> i think it's going to be-- i think meryl streep, the wheel has come full circle. we had meryl streep, you know, who won for best
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supporting actress and best actress in late '70s and '80s, one for sophie's choice but it's been, you know, 26 years. 1983, and she's had, you know, 16 nominations, 13 in best actress, 3 in best supporting actress and the thing that is so fascinating, so wonderful about meryl streep now is the way that she's just sort of lightened up, you know. she gave these serious, intense sort of all the way deep inside performances that made her, you know, the most admired actress in the world. and then-- . >> rose: and the best of her generation. >> and the best of her geration. and then she took all that skill and all of that technique and discipline and started putting it into these wonderful comic performances, these sort of like lighter than air, graceful, funny, self-aware, playful performances. and i think that julia child performance in julie and julia is one of those. i mean it's a kind of a breast taking active impersonation. but at the same time you
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never forget that it's meryl streep doing julia child. and it's so delightful. >> it is almost magically well mixed pair of streep and stanley touchy. they really know how to finesse that kind of material them are playing to the balcony in some scenes but it absolutely works in every -- >> but also here is meryl streep 60 years old, you know, a box office phenomenon. you know, a fully fledged movie star. i think that's a great thing. that kind of thing sometimes happen in france but not -- >> revenge on the system, i like it. >> rose: continuing with what looked like locked, best supporting actress. >> still mo'nique, a week from now it will be mo'nique. >> rose: and we'll know a week from now. >> i think kristoff was,
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they have won everything except the gold medal for curling at this point. and they are both excellent, excellent performances. >> it's nice also you know, we have he been talking about jeff bridges, meryl streep, sandra bull okay, getting some new faces in there up on the stage, you know, like mo'nique and kristoff waltz is a good thing. and as we said many times, especially in the supporting categories, you know, the academy likes villains, likes, you know, big, exciting, evil. >> rose: first of all, are movies changing? >>. >> well, i think a few things are changing. i think what is happening is that movies are both getting bigger and smaller. and that the middle is schrenking a little bit. i think for a lot of the last decade, certainly at oscar time you had these movies that were kind of midlevel movies, distributed by the mir i max or the focus features or
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paramount-- that were dominating at the awards. >> mostly adult movies. >> adult movie. >> no country for old men, there will be blood, broke back mountain, ca pote, that kind of thing. that business model has i think fallen on hard times because those movies while they were relatively inexpensive to produce, to publicize them and to push them through the oscar season to get to the bigger audience on the other hand end was ruinously expensive and drove some of the companies, you know, out of business. so i think that the major studios are going more and more for the big global play. for the "avatar". >> but here is the paradox about "avatar". what is it a harbinger of, what. that a obsessive control freak is going to spend another decade and 200, 300 million on it. that is not that is the opposite of a studio model. i think that film's massive success may not lead to any
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immediate followers because we are not-- the people are going to be very reluctant to spend that kind of money on something that isn't based on a comic book. and that is kind of the success of that picture that it was, in fact, you can call it derivative but it was not in fact based on the franchise. >> i think any time a big gamble like that pays off in a big way. people come and try to imitate it. lord of the rings was a huge foley. >> therewhere is the follow-- on titanic what did that lead to. >> a one off. i wonder if "avatar" isn't the same thing am we are getting enough 3-d. >> we are geting a lot of 3-d. i think we will get a lot more science fiction fantasy adventure which has already been the kind of the dom national -- >> maybe that is the important thing. >> in terms of, you know, studios will be more willing to spend, already have shown themselves more willing to spend $200 million. >> and they really coulding out in the middle. the middle class has never done really well in this country. >> as you say, these small, well-told stories are going
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to continue to proliferate. some of them are going to have to find different ways to be distributed. >> when you did know that you wanted to be a fill imcritic. >> good question. i was a kid, about 7 or 8. i loved the marks brothers, i sawhorse feathers one of their best early films, 193, and laughed and laughed and about a week or two weeks later i saw a much later film, the big store from 1941 and sat there like a stone and i remember thinking to myself in my tiny 8 or 9-year-old brain y is this not funny. i laugh at these guys a week ago. what is the difference in these two movies. and i think that sort of bugged me for weeks. i thought what is it. i love these guys, why am i not laughing. i think maybe that was the start of some sort of critical thinking about it. >> rose: and you? >> well, i used to like to read reviews a lot and go to movies. and i remember i think one pivotal moment for me was when i was i think a little older than that, 13 or 14, i went to see flash gordon. and i thought it was just
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the stupidest thing hi ever seen. then i went home and my parents subscribe to the new yorker and i read pauline came's review of it and she loved it. and i thought how can this be. and just -- >> you thought you were dealing with empirical facts. >> right, how could anybody say this was any good. and i had to really think about it am and i didn't, i stuck by my guns in the face of the formidable miscame. but the whole idea that you could have this interesting argument, that you could see two different things and kind of converge with, and converse with someone else about them. and that this was part of the fun of it, part of the pleasure of going to see a movie. >> here is the thing that interests me too. you will see great filmmakers make great films and then make films that are not nearly great. what is the difference? >> you know. >> rose: the talent's there. >> the talent's there. >> rose: is it to the being able to find a great script s it not-- the talent is there, the direct are. and you know there are tons
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of competent actors to tell the story. >> yes. >> i honestly think the contribution of the screenwriter canning-- in the sgreel of how they respond so strongly to certain directors. why does one clint eastwood film really cohere like for my money letters from iwo jima, one of his best whereas the book end piece flags of our fathers seemed, i struggled with that one. to me it felt like it never quite came together on the page. that is-- a direct kerr only do some of once they are on set. and it is a simplistic thing to say but you know, the great directors have dealt with such a wild variety of material, they're always going to risk a certain amount of failure. and frankly, i respond better to those people who are taking a risk. >> rose: the second question i wonder is do they know it is a failure when they are making the movie. >> that is a fascinating question. because you often wonder
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that. and you, i often wish that i could ask them, did you see, did you know. because i think making a movie is such a complicated undertaking at every stage, you know, from preproduction through probably the moment when the director is in the most control, might be when they are actually shooting. but then you know then you have to put it all together. you have to score t easyity it. and there may be, yeah, i think a point i think that sometimes comes toward the end where you think this is not -- >> it has been skroobed as a mixture of running a major hotel while conducting a moon launch. >> the other thing people may well believe they can fix it in the end-- in the edit. >> i think that's true. i think that there's a lot-- i mean filmmakers work in different ways. i mean some, you know, shoot enormous amounts of material and then find the movie in the editing room. others, or you know orson
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wells famously edited in the camera so that no one could-- . >> rose: i wonder if you took a long survey the best would have edited in the camera, would have not taken long takes in sum aree would you have found that more good filmmakers did not shoot many takes then good filmmakers that shot a lot of takes? >> i don't know. it's a fascinating question. >> you do have, you know. >> rose: clint eastwood who is famous for doing-- woody allen, on the other hands. >> david finch is the opposite. >> he is exploiting the digital medium endlessly. >> yeah. >> the other thing, you take something like chicago, i mean you hated" nine ". >> yes, i did. >> rob marshal is a very tamm ented guy. >> yes. i think-- a critic say russ
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putting me on the spot. >> okay. i think, yes, a sensitive fellow. >> he is a competent director. i think that the material of nine was-- was subpar but i think also he had trouble with memoirs of a geisha. i think that -- >> which was certainly a good book. >> it was a good book there was a very good story in there. somehow when it got into his hands it turned into something that was both, you know, overwrote and undercooked at the same time which i think was part of the problem with nine. >> his issue i think is that he is confusing style with decoration. he's got a deck rative streak. as a director a lot of really brilliant directors did, they came out of art direction. marshal came out of choreography, everybody comes out of somewhere. >> rose: here is the other thing. suppose i showed you, it's crazy i know, suppose i showed you "inglourious
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basterds" and didn't tell you who the director was. brought you into a room and said a friend of mine has been making this movie and here it is. could you have told me who the director was. >> five minutes. the marconi, the use of sergio lyoni, the genius on this world war ii story t is one of the things i don't like about that film. i think tarantino. >> rose: too many cliche. >> tarantino's love for that music which is some the greatest film music ever, just because it sort of fits in a sense to the action. >> i thought you could start that movie at any point and within a few minutes you could identify the filmmaker. >> rose: this is for you, michael. do you think tony owes me something because of all the appearances he made on this show that he became the logical person for at the movies? >> well, i'm grateful. >> everything i know about being on television i learned at this table.
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>> rose: today if you are looking for something, you google it. the company has said it wants to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. as part of that mission, google took on an ambitious project in 2005 to to digitize the world's books. that provoked a class-action lawsuit lead by the author's guild over copyright infringement. three years later the parties resolve the lawsuit with 125 million settlement. but the uproar continued and a revised settlement is to you pending court approval. in a setback to google the justice department said it still has significant legal problems. a fairness hearing is scheduled for february 18th. the outcome could shape the future of digital publishing. the dispute also shows how google has been forced to compromise as it deals with other companies and government. and it is a sign of how technology is transforming
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us, how we access information. joining me now several key figures involved in all of this, with me in new york, google's chief legal officer david drummond. writer james glick of the author's guild and the association american publishers. from boston historian robert darnton, he is a director of the university library at harvard. and he opposes the settlement. i am pleased to have all of them here and try to make some sense out of this. what is it google wants to do? >> well, if you look at google, we have always had a mission. and you elude to it in your opening, to organize the world's information, make it universally accessible and useful. i showed up at the company about eight years, a little more than eight years ago, walked in the door and larry and sergei said david, i have a project for you, i said what's that. they said we're going to digitize the world's books. i said how are you going to do that. and we talked about it. and it turned out that we could work with the libraries to go ahead and
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digitize their collections. and for public domain materials we could make those available in the same way that web sites are up on the web for free, we could make books available that are in the public domain. >> rose: anybody with do that. >> for anybody to view. >> rose: but anybody can do that. >> and anybody can do that too. and then for copyrighted material, we, the plan was we would index them so we would scan digitize the books but you wouldn't be able to actually read the book. you would know that the book exists with the term that you searched. and you would see a snippet from the book but that's it. and we would direct you to a library to check out the book or to someplace where you could buy the book if you were interested in that. so the plan was to sort of enhance the discovery ability of books so you could find more things. now we had a lawsuit that obviously there were rights' holders who disagreed with us that that was the right thing to do. we believed it was a fair use under the copyright laws, we were doing something transform difficult with the works and you couldn't actually see them so they weren't a substitute for the
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work but the authors and publishers disagreed. and we had a lawsuit. but one day they came to us and said well here's an idea. why don't we settle this lawsuit and of course of settling it we can do something better than what you guys were doing. and that something is to not only have the indexing and the snippets available, but to also let users, anyone see the entire contents of these in copyright books so long as they pay for them and compensate the author. so all of a sudden, so the prospect here was to unlock a whole what turns out to be the majority of these library collections which are in-- i'm sorry, out of print but in copyright books. and that's primarily what this covered settlement deals with. so you have access to people, anyone in the united states to books that heretofore have just been on university library shelves.
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and you have a whole new market created for authors, for some of these works that aren't being exploited by anyone. >> those books that are quote out of print. >> that's right. >> so what say you, sir as an author? >> that was a perfect sum aree. >> up to the part where, david and i have disagreements. this whole process started with a disa dpreemen dpreement-- disagreement between google and the authors about what their rights were. we sued google, the author's guild on behalf of the class of authors because we felt that it was a violation of copyright law to digitize, to make copies of all these becomes that were still in copyright, put them on google server, share copies with the libraries for their own use, and not compensate the copyright holders, their share of any profits that were being made. that is the history. now as david said, we have arrived at a settlement
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agreement that we think is fair to everybody. it recognizes the rights of copyright holders to determine how and when their books can be displayed by google. it takes this fabulous resource, i mean this is the thing that was happening in the background all the time we were discussing settlement agreement. google was continuing to scan these books. i think now you can correct me if this is the wrong number but i think they are up to 12 million different titles now scanned. it's a fabulous virtual library. it's something the world has never seen it was scary to copyright holders at the beginning because it was in the hands of a private company that was using it for its own commercial benefit with no recognition of the rights holders interest in how the material was displayed.
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under the terms of the settlement that's all changed. the rights holders have complete control over if and when google displays parts of it to the public and if students doing research or people at home pay a little bit either directly or through, or indirectly through advertising revenue then google gets its share for all the work it's done and the rights holder gets their share for all the work they've done. >> so what bothers you about this? >> well, i must say, first of all i totally admire google's mission statement. i think that it coincides with the mission of libraries which is to get books to readers. so we're agreed on what the ultimate goal is and further more i agree with what has already been said i think by james gleick that we are facing an extraordinary
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moment in world history. a moment when we really can make available to everyone in the world, practically, the world's literature. so if already google is digitized 10, 12 million books, it's a fabulous asset. so i have nothing but enthusiasm for this and admiration for the way google has gone about it. i men they have the technical expertise, the financial means and they've got the sheer energy to create this thing. what gives me pause is the settlement itself. i mean you could look upon it as a perfectly natural commercial deal in which the parties are dividing a pie. 37% goes to google, 63% goes to the authors and the publishers. i think google has every right to return on its
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investment and i think the authors have every right to a return on their copyright. so there is no quarrel there. but that really is a narrow view of the settlement as merely pie divided. if you take a larger view, i think that really involves what you could call the whole digital future of the literary world. it's an extraordinary moment when the future of publishing, the book trade, reading, i would say the public good in general in cultural matters is at stake. so the stakes are very high. and if you step back and look at the settlement which isn't easy because it's more than 300 pages of almost illegible legalese but you step back and try to assess it, what is missing? well, readers, libraries, the public or the public good. so it's not as if i am
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opposed to the basic concept but i think the settlement must be modified in a way that's going to take account of the interests of readers, libraries and the public good. now that's feasible. so how can we make it happen? i think that the revised version of the settlement does not make it happen. there are lots of problems. and i could, i have a whole list of them. but the basic point is this is a public asset. we, librarys have made available to google free collections that have been built up over generations at enormous cost and now we're being asked to buy back the digitized version of those libraries at a fee that could be ruinously expensive. now google is trying to keep
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the fee reasonable and i hope it will. i mean i trust their goodwill. but who will own google a few years from now. google has only existed since 1998. and the provisions in the settlement that govern pricing are not adequate to present what i would call price gouging. librarys have suffered from being gouged for the prices of subscriptions to journals for many years. we are hurting in the world of libraries. and we must be extremely careful that this great asset will not be so expensive that we can't afford it. so what i hope is that google will make available to small libraries, public libraries, tiny colleges, a fabulous digitized library at prices they can afford. and to be sure that they can afford it, we need built in
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controls. we need a public authority to monitor the prices. and we need some guarantee that in the future, someone won't take over google and won't be as high-minded as david drummond and company but will just try to make money out of it. >> in terms of the public good and readers, enormous benefit. right, of those 12 million lines we are talking about, 8 or 9 million that are most likely in this category of in copyright but out of print. no one, no readers in the united states other than folks who have access to those, the librarys where those books reside currently has access to them. under this settlement, every one will be able, these will be able to search them. find books, every one will be able to view up to 20% of the books. think about that. when you are doing research, right, you don't often look at, need to see everything cover to cover.
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but 20% of the book contextually, 20% of the book around your search term, in other words, so it's sort of rel vent to the thing are you interested in. anyone with a computer terminal in the united states will have access to that. >> institutions will be able to subscribe to the entire-- across all of the libraries and if are you a member of that institution you get to use the full text of all of the materials. on top of that, if that weren't enough, every public library in the united stays and every public library building will have one free terminal so in other words, the entire, full access to that in that library that is something like 16,000 public libraries around the world. another 4,000 sort of higher education institutions. in other words, you walk into the library, there will be a computer that you can go to and access all of the material you can print some of it out, you will be ways
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to do that with your library, et cetera. so that is an enormous public benefit, an enormous benefit for readers, all of that, that doesn't exist today. >> nobody argues that point, do they. >> no, bob said there was nothing in the settlement. >> i think the point was that why should we trust google. >> let me get to that. >> over the longer term. >> let me get to the pricing point. he's concerned about the prices being too high for institutions. first of all, the institutional subscription isn't the only way you can buy. you can buy individual books and there you know we're pretty sure these prices are going to start out pretty low. so and will stay that way. we are pretty sure of that. on the institutional side, the agreement's actually remarkable in the controls that it actually does provide. i'm not aware of another sort of distribution arrangement in which actually says in the agreement that it has, that there are dual goals. one goal is to sort of generate a market return for the rights' holders in their works which would you would
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expect. there is foregoal that says that the purpose of all of this is to create a broad dissemination of the works. what we meant by that is to get, you tow no to make this available at many, many institutions, large and small all across the country. that's big baked in as a purpose of the agreement. in the contract. on top of that, their provisions so that the librarys who participate with us can sort of hold google's feet to the fire if they believe the pricing is out of hand. >> rose: how do they do that. >> take to us arbitration. take to us somebody that will look at it and says that's a reasonable price or that is an unreasonable price. and if so, google will make up the difference. and so i want to be clear. we've got university of michigan, standford university, many other library partners who are absolutely for this settlement. we are involved in crafting it. and think it's an enormous benefit to them. >> it's true that there are two goals that are carefully
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enunciated in the settlement. frankly, i think they're incompatible. on the one hand the settlement promises that the litigants and others are going to maximize revenue and the other hand, they want to maximize the spread of knowledge. well, i am in favor of both but i'm afraid that the revenue will take the upper hand. what guarantee is there that everything in the settlement won't drive the price up. well, arbitration, you say, but the actual terms of the settlement make a very weak arbitration. so i think if there were a consent decree in the department of justice that that would do the job. we need some kind of public monitoring of prices, of privacy and of other aspects of the settlement in order to protect the public interest. so i'm not against anyone making money from it. i just think that one should
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consider the interests of the readers and the public. >> it feels funny for me to be in the position of investment in scanning these books in the first place. an investment that a government could make, the government of france is talking about it. >> and they want $7 or $800 million to do it. >> microsoft talked about it for a while. other companies have talked about but so far only google is willing to make an investment. >> what kind of investment are we talking about. >> i'm to the going put a number on it. but look, it's a sizable investment. and it's not just money. i think some people think that the only thing in play here is just throwing money at a problem. there is a lot of actual innovation and a lot of work that's gone on to figure out how to do this kind of scanning. it turns out it is not trivial. and so we've invested a lot of energy this that. and that is what we get excited about. >> i get excited about it too. i have enso the scanning done by google. i think it's terrific. i mean there are flaws and so on. but the ambition is fabulous. and the opportunity is
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great. so it's not that i have accused google of price gouging. that's not true at all. i think google's great. and in the case of harvard we've given google almost a million books in the public domain to digitize. it's digitized them. it's done an excellent job and those books are now available everywhere. so i totally share the ideal of making this vast amount of literature available to everyone in the country. my only worry is that the successors of google won't accept the google's motto of do no evil and we have been gouged. we in the libraries because we have seen what we call cocaine pricing taking place. it starts at a low level. the users get hooked on it. and then the publi publicer-- publishers rachet up costs until they are
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unbearably expensive. >> rose: everybody thinks this is a good idea that you can have access to books, right. we don't find anybody dissenting from that idea, do we. >> i would hope not rses larry-- said quoteive sea seen these big powerful companies filled with people who drink the cool aid. i get theence in which these people feel they are doing good but am always surprised by their failure to recognize how they will be perceived outside. >> well, i don't know that-- we are not all that surprised that people might have some concern about a private companies that's engaged. >> how do you get past that point. >> you know, big enterprise. well i think we try to get past it through our actions. >> have you made concessions that you did not want to make. >> i think the settlement itself is a big compromise. i think one of the achievements of the settlement is that you got really for the first time in a really major way you have a major player on the internet and all of the changes that that is sort of
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bringing to information. you have rights holders, not just authors, publishers and authors which they have their own issues together. participating libraries. all of whom have these disparate different kinds of interests and different views about how to digitize information and what should happen, who should get paid what, and what is legal, what's not legal. and we have come out of this with a set of compromises which is what you need to move forward. which makes a lot of sense and get something done. >> what do you think is the most important and difficult compromise for google to make. >> well, it's a good question. there are a lot of things in there. we were concerned about placing too many restrictions on our use of works and on libraries works that would go beyond sort of what, we were more restricted than what we believe is fair use, for instance. and i think in the overall scheme of things, we felt that the benefits of the
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settlement were absolutely sort of outweighed, those concerns. it was worth it to go forward wx there are many benefits. there's no disputing that. but when you come right down to it, the settlement represents a deal between two parties who each of whom has an interest in maximizing profit. that's fine. but the great parties that's left out is the public. >> . >> rose: why are they left out? >> well, because the public is not been consulted. it has no place in the so-called book rights registry. and especially, the public will be forced to pay for access to this great library. and the payment could be more than the public can afford. so all i'm saying is it is a great idea but let's expand it so that the welfare of the public will be taken into consideration and not just the interests of the two parties in the lawsuit. >> i'm really surprised to
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hear a suggestion that the public is being left out of this thing. i feel just the opposite about it. that this is an almost accidental fantastic boon to the public that if the settle el-- settlement were disapproved or went away it would be a tragic loss. not for author, not for google but for the public, for anybody who wants to read this vast storehouse of books. as an author who participated in negotiations, i can tell you that my motivation was not about maximizing my profit or even the profit of authors. we authors are also readers. we are probably the most enthusiastic readers of old books there are. and the opportunity to take this collection which will begin to rival in size even professor darnton's library at harvard and make it available to everyone is too great to ignore and just as
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he the detail that i want to highlight, something that david mentioned that i think slip bid very quickly, people should realize that there will be a free terminal under the terms of the settlement at every public library in america and every university a college. that's upwards of 20,000 terminals where any member of the public can sithe and read anything in the collection free of charge. >> pay for the terminals. >> it's paid for out of the -- >> the settlement. >> out of the settlement. >> basically it's just being made available through the rights holders and google. >> professor darnton, thank you, thank you james gleick, david drummond. >> thank you, charlie.
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